Health

Book reviews on books dealing with health matters.

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    Author Susie Dunham, Midwestern mom and former nurse, never suspected her son Michael was anything but a typical college student with big dreams until he developed schizophrenia shortly after his 21st birthday. "Beyond Schizophrenia" informs readers about the nightmare world of mental illness in America including psychiatric wards, indifferent nursing staffs, and the trial-and-error world of psychotropic meds. Michael's ultimate recovery and remission comes with plenty of traumatic incidents involving both ignorance and stigma, but his courage and quest for dignity will inspire all readers.

    Author Alan Smith through his book "How to UnBreak Your Health," shares a guide to discover how your body, mind, and energy/spirit can work together to produce better health. It teaches readers how to take charge of your health and find your path to the best health possible. Which therapies are right for you and your health problems? Find out in this easy-to-read guide to all of the therapies available outside the drugs-and-surgery world of mainstream medicine. Uncover the latest scientific research that's opening the door to therapies both ancient and modern that are available to help you improve your health.

    "Healing with Words," by author Diana M. Raab, is a unique, compassionate story written by a nurse, author, and mother of three, who at the age of forty-seven found her life shattered by a diagnosis with DCIS with invasion. Five years later she was diagnosed once again to yet another, seemingly unrelated and incurable blood cancer—multiple myeloma. The book includes the author’s experiences, reflections, poetry, journal entries, in addition to writing prompts for readers to express their own personal story. While coping with her loss, Raab realized that in addition to seeking immediate health care and having a supportive family, her lifeline to survival was writing about her experience. When Raab received her abnormal mammogram report, she pulled out her journal and began writing. She usually wrote first thing in the morning when her thoughts were the purest. Raab considers journaling to be like a daily vitamin—healing, detoxifying and essential for optimal health.

    "Being There When It Counts" edited by George W. Doherty is what Disaster Mental Health Services (DMHS) teams try hardest to achieve before, during and following disasters, critical incidents, crises, and terrorist activities. Although a relatively new field, these teams have quickly become an integral part of disaster and critical incident preparedness, mitigation, response, and follow-up. DMHS began with Critical Incident Stress Debriefing and Critical Incident Stress Management. In order to continue to grow and meet identified needs, both continued development as well as focused research.Research will help identify how Mental Health Services can best be utilized as well as how relevant changes need to be made in practice. Networking and sharing experiences can also help develop resources. The 8th Rocky Mountain Region Disaster Mental Health Conference was held Nov. 7-9, 2009 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. This volume highlights key papers from presenters

    About thirty million Americans who smoke say they want to quit, but lack the motivation. "Smoking: 201 Reasons to Quit" by author Muriel L. Crawford, provides that motivation by focusing on why you should not smoke, rather than how to quit. The book contains a complete in-depth explanation of the dangers and disadvantages of smoking. The book includes discussions of problems caused by nicotine addiction, the best methods of quitting tobacco, the health hazards of secondhand smoke to others, and the ways that smoking increases the dangers of injury and death.

    In "Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting!" author Robert Boich details his battle with substance abuse and his decision to lead a sober lifesytle. He realized if he didn?t change his life, he would be incarcerated or die all alone. In this compelling, personal narrative, Boich shares his personal struggles and insights encountered during his first six months of recovery. "Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting!" describes the many changes Boich made in his life. More than just eliminating certain people and places from a daily routine, he illustrates how a successful recovery requires a brand-new approach in dealing with life. Blending personal thoughts with helpful information, Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting! discusses the ideas and tools used in an addict's early recovery.

    By the time she turned two, Jaimie was so fearful of her world they spent most days inside. What was wrong with Chynna's miracle girl? Why wouldn't anyone help her figure it out? Jaimie wasn't "just spirited" as her physician suggested nor did she lack discipline at home. When Jaimie was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) at two-and-a-half, Chynna thought she had "the answer," but that was just the start of a three-year quest for the right treatments. With the right diagnosis and treatment suited to Jaimie, this family finally felt hope. "Not Just Spirited" by Chynna T. Laird is one mother's journey to finding peace for her daughter, Jaimie. As Chynna says often, "Knowledge breeds understanding. And that's so powerful."

    Does Psychiatry have a future? Assailed from many directions, under constant attack for its reliance on "a drug for all problems" and increasingly unable to attract bright new trainees, the specialty is showing every sign of terminal decline. The reason is simple: modern psychiatry has no formal model of mental disorder to guide its daily practice, teaching and research. Unfortunately, the orthodox psychiatrists who control this most conservative profession are utterly antagonistic to criticism. Despite the evidence, they maintain a blind faith that "science will deliver the goods" by a biological examination of the brain. "Humanizing Psychiatry" argues that their faith is entirely misplaced and is contributing to the destruction of an essential part of civilized life, the fair and equitable treatment of people with mental disorders. Author Niall McLaren offers a rational model of mental disorder within the framework of a molecular resolution of the mind-body problem. Fully developed, this model will have revolutionary consequences for psychiatry--and the mentally-afflicted.

    "Gentling" represents a new paradigm in the therapeutic approach to children who have experienced physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and have acquired Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result. This text redefines PTSD in child abuse survivors by identifying child-specific behavioral signs commonly seen, and offers a means to individualize treatment and measure therapeutic outcomes through understanding each suffering child's unique symptom profile. The practical and easily understood Gentling approaches and techniques can be easily learned by clinicians, parents, foster parents, teachers and all other care givers of these children to effect real and lasting healing.

    "Recovering The Self" by authors Ernest Dempsey & Victor Volkman is a quarterly journal which explores the themes of recovery and healing through poetry, memoir, essays, fiction, humor, media reviews and psycho-education. Areas of concern include aging, disabilities, health, abuse recovery, trauma/PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Contributors come from around the world to provide a mirror of the experience of peoples of all cultures and beliefs.

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